Thursday, August 25, 2011

☞ READ: Mixed-Income for Randolph Houses

The old tenement buildings that are owned by NYCHA on 114th Street in South Harlem have been abandoned for years but now definitive news has been announced about their future.  Reports had it that the buildings just east of FDB/8th Avenue would be torn down for new development but surprisingly the south side of the block has been landmarked to prevent such action.  According to a WNYC article, the cash-strapped NYCHA has apparently worked out a deal where 140 of the 295 apartments will remain public housing and the rest will be privately owned affordable units.  Architectural details are planned to be restored on the facade and expect the project to be finished in two and a half years: LINK

22 comments:

  1. why doesnt the NYCHA just sell the whole block to whomever is building the private affordables?

    It seems a win win , the units are still affordable and also taken out of public ownership and put on the tax rolls. The government does not know how to get out of its own way. and remember, the worst landlord in the city is the NYCHA.

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  2. Good to see these put back into use. Sounds like the public/private mix is a good solution.

    Half the private units will be set to 60% of AMI. So what about the other half (quarter of the total units)? It sounds like they're implying that they'll be for higher income households (but still "affordable" so under 120% AMI?) Will certainly create some income diversity on the block.

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  3. We don't need more affordable housing in Harlem. Period. End of story. We need more market rate apartments.

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  4. That’s the spirit, DeShawn! We need a community that really knows how to divide the haves from the have nots! Let those struggling families stay struggling. Plenty of room for them to sleep on the streets.

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  5. DeShawn, agreed, Harlem has more than enough subsidized/welfare housing, Harlem needs more market rate to balance things out, if for no other reason than to house tax payers in the community.

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  6. While I agree the neighbourhood doesn’t need any more concentrated units of low income/subsidised housing, i.e., projects, I think mixed-income buildings are to be welcomed.

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  7. I say privatize the projects too and take that burden off the tax payers as well. I have mixed feelings on the "affordable" housing issue, if the housing is truly for teachers, firemen et al why not bring more professionals to the neighbourhood? If the housing will be handed over to folks who will truly care less then as DeShawn said why bother.

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  8. Sanou’s Self-Righteous MumAugust 26, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    What makes you think people in affordable housing “will truly care less”? Firstly you are painting with an extremely broad brush and secondly isn’t housing a right? Do you suggest people should live in squalor as some do in Brazil? Would you prefer a colony of tin huts and refrigerator boxes in Central Park?

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  9. Did you read what I wrote? I said that if the housing is going to go to people who care less about the property then I do not want my tax bucks supporting that. If it goes to responsible folks I have no issues it. I have seen how poorly affordable housing is treated at times and it annoys me to no end that my hard earn money goes to support people who have zero pride in where they live. Excuse me if that offends but it is how I feel.

    I have been to many poor countries and met folks who would kill for a nice place to live while some people get stuff handed here and treat it poorly. Not every person does but enough do that it annoys me to no end. You cannot possibly tell me that you are okay with your money going to support people who would destroy their housing with graffiti, trash etc in the halls. If you do the that is your choice I chose to be indignant when I see that.

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  10. PS Housing is a "right" but if I have to pay for it i want to have the "right" to be annoyed if you treat it like crap!!

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  11. Who judges who is “worthy” and who is not?

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  12. The applicant's history is what they are judged by. If they have none then the chance is afforded them.

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  13. Why do we build more low income housing in Harlem when we have way too much already funded by tax payers, see CB10 needs statement, http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb10/html/about/needs.shtml
    CB10 clearly has an agenda aimed at benefiting a particular racial group, this I believe to be the very definition of racism.

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  14. Not to belabour the point. Oh, yeah, well, I always do, but Westsider, if you want the very definition of racism you can look at the employment and income stats of various racial groups and see why we need low income housing in Harlem.

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  15. While I agree that the employment and income stats are pretty horrific, I have to ask why? The kids refuse to stay in school, they disrupt class and as such students that want to learn and improve their lives suffer. Then they cannot find work and wonder why. Then they have kids and the cycle perpetuates.

    I have radical ideas on how to avoid these things but will not post here just pointing out that maybe just maybe the constant providing of "handouts" might not actually be helping the situation. I find that when someone has to work hard to get what they want they tend to have more respect for it.

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  16. SM, there is no excuse for racism, least of all in the agenda of a community board.

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  17. HarlemBBC, well said, and I know many good people in Harlem agree with you.

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  18. ahh the soft prejudice of low expectations..yet again....that is the liberal agenda..I say, ..no, I have to go to school and work for a living - so should everyone else.....not in a negative way , but I think the welfare class can contribute alot to society - we need them to be productive members - its good for them and for us. Just giving handouts does not work in the long term for anyone - including housing... look, how it works in the rest of the United States is the free market builds houisng, they often overbuild and compete with each other for quality tenants , therefore in the end the beneficiaries are the end users (renters , buyers) they get cheaper costs for better housing....It will work in new york city too.

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  19. I'm as bleeding heart liberal as they come, but let's get serious. Harlem has a very high concentration of affordable housing throughout. In fact, it's nearly impossible to not live on a block, or have to pass a block on your way to the subway which doesn't pass affordable housing. Does Harlem really need more? Does the right to housing mean that low income people also have the right to be located in convenient, centrally located, high-valued real estate? I grew up in the suburbs because it was cheaper for my parents, and safer than living downtown. Would that kind of lifestyle be so "unfair" to low income people?

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  20. See this is the problem with new transplants who feel entitled to displace people out of their communities and make generalizations about low income people. Kudos. You won't be happy until all of us low income people are out of the neighborhood and far from your sights. Since all of us are welfare mamas living off the fat of the land. The assumptions made by many of the commenters are tinged with racist and classist notions of what these people would do. How quickly they are to assume that we would marr our homes with grafitti or how we easily accept government handouts. These people you speak of are for the most part hard working people with 2-3 jobs, being paid minimum wages with little to no benefits.

    I'm sorry but Harlem needs more affordable housing and less market rate rentals. This means real housing where the minimum income is not 75K per year. The reality is that there has been a marked decrease in affordable housing units in the city overall, and increasingly in Upper Manhattan and Harlem. Traditional Ethnic and immigrant enclaves that were once the safe havens for newcomers and served as a introduction into the US are now extinct and New York City is becoming increasingly homogenous.

    What's worse is when one considers the tactics used by landlords and the injustices felt by long term and elderly tenants. As a housing activist I cringe when reading comments such as "Does the right to housing mean that low income people also have the right to be located in convenient, centrally located, high-valued real estate?" when the question should be -Do people deserve to stay in their homes and raise their families without having to worry about landlords sending them to housing court for minor infractions, refusing to cash their rent checks in order to start eviction proceedings, failure to repair major issues, burning down entire buildings to collect insurance... I could go on.

    Housing is a right and people derserve to stay in their communities. period. Mixed communities where people actually live and work together and all contribute to the improvement of the community would be the ideal, but with comments like these, it is far from reality. The only "right" way to live and be is "your" way and it obviously does not include income and in many ways racial/cultural diversity. So again Kudos. It's good to see what the neighborhood has in store and when it becomes another UWS/UES and people are complaining about how bland and vanilla Harlem has become, you only have yourselves to blame.

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  21. I'm so glad they're going to develop that block. It's really creepy.

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  22. According to the New York Observer's write-up on this, it's not actually "mixed-income":
    http://www.observer.com/2011/08/nycha-hpd-randolph-houses-harlem-public-housing-tenements/

    Rather, the "mix" will be between the 140 public housing units that remain under the auspices of NYCHA, and the 155 low-income units handled by private developers with HPD oversight (all of which will be pegged to 60% AMI).

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